If your kid is affected by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), it is important for you to know about the best ways of dealing with the condition. Muscular dystrophy consists of group of diseases, which result in the weakening of muscles along with reduced flexibility. DMD accounts for being the most common type of muscular dystrophy. It occurs because of flaws in the gene, which controls how your body keeps the muscles healthy. This disease affects boys and the symptoms start appearing from early childhood.
There is no specific treatment for DMD. However, there are several ways, including medicines and therapy, to deal with the symptoms and to protect the muscles.
- Several steroids such as prednisone help in slowing down muscle damage. Children taking this medicine are able to walk for two to five years longer than they would usually do. Lung and heart functions are also improved.
- DMD leads to heart problems and hence, you should take your child to a heart doctor for regular checkups until the age of 10.
- In some cases, a surgery may be required to fix their shortened muscles, for straightening the spine, or for treating a heart or lung problem.
Taking care of your child
If your child has DMD, it does not mean that he will have to refrain from activities such as school, sports and spending time with friends. By sticking to the right treatment plan, you will be able to make your child active.
- Stand and walk: Being in an upright position will keep your child’s bones strong and the spine straight. You can get your child braces or standing walkers, which will help him in terms of balance and mobility.
- Eat right: Although there is no special diet for DMD, several food items should be taken for preventing problems related to weight. Your child should eat the proper amount of food with a proper balance of nutrients and calories regularly.
- Stay active: You should ensure that your child exercises regularly. Regular stretching exercises help in keeping the muscles and joints limber, which makes him feel better. You can avail the help of a physical therapist for an exercise schedule.
You can look for and join local support groups associated with DMD, as other families living with DMD can be a source of good advice and understanding about life with DMD.